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Birch/Aspen Forest Wall Mural for Kids Room 



i 



Make Projects 



build, hack, tweak, share, discover, J 



Birch/Aspen Forest Wall Mural 



for Kids R 



tit 



m 



Written By: Michelle Hlubinka 



f TOOLS: 

• A pair of scissors. (1) 

• Sponge (1) 

• Tape measure (1) 



O PARTS: 



Contact paper (1) 

my color was called "champagne" I 

believe 

Acrylic paint (1) 



SUMMARY 

We started renting our house a couple of months before our son was born. My friend 
Humberto had painted a beautiful Sendak-esque tree on the walls of his son Horatio's room. I 
wanted to have something similar but didn't want to repaint when the landlady retires and 
comes back to California and we have to move out. So I looked for wall murals, and in the 
end decided to make my own. 



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Birch/Aspen Forest Wall Mural for Kids Room 





• Cut lengths of contact paper that 
equal the height of the trees you 
want. From the top of the 
baseboard to the bottom of the 
molding, my walls measure 88 
inches. So I cut four or five pieces 
that were 24" wide (the width of the 
contact paper) and 88" long. Since 
each piece would yield 3-5 tree 
trunks, I'd have 3-6 trees per wall. 



Step 2 




Create a bark pattern to the contact 
paper. Cut a sponge stamp in the 
shape of an eye with a hole in the 
middle. You can stamp the knots in 
the tree's bark and use the thin 
edge of the sponge to create lines 
radiating out from those. My paint 
was a mixture of yellow with a 
smidgen of black, so it's not a true 
black. I didn't want a dark black, as 
in the real world trees have all 
sorts of living things that give the 
color a little warmth. 



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Birch/Aspen Forest Wall Mural for Kids Room 





• Cut trunks. This is the sheet before 
I cut it into 3-5 long trunks. To cut 
the trunk-strips, I used the grid 
side of the contact paper and cut 
roughly along one line, allowing the 
scissors to wander off the line a 
little bit because trees don't make 
straight edges in real life! I also 
added some wiggle to the edges of 
the original contact sheet too, since 
a machine-made edge would look 
weird next to my wiggly edge. 
Advanced mural makers may want 
to add a very gradual slant to the 
trunks, so that the trunk is thinner 
on top than on bottom, and 
alternating up and down to 
conserve contact paper. 



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Birch/Aspen Forest Wall Mural for Kids Room 





• Create leaves. To paint the leaves, 
I started with an undercoat of 
yellow, then regions of sponge- 
painting: a little red, some green 
and lots of orange over the yellow. 
It's a little like an Eric Carle effect. 
I also added some metallic gold 
sponge-brushing to the paint. When 
this dried, I cut out heart-shaped 
leaves. I was so happy with how 
this looked before cutting I wished 
I'd done it on canvas. Another time. 





Hang the trunks. Start by peeling back the first inch of the adhesive backing all the way 
across the top of the trunk piece. Securely pat it down all the way across, and pull the 
backing down a few inches and secure it to the wall some more, smoothing it onto the wall. 
Keep pulling the backing off and smoothing the trunk onto the wall all the way down to the 
bottom of your wall. You should find the tension of pulling helps adhere the giant tree trunk 
sticker to the wall smoothly. 



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Birch/Aspen Forest Wall Mural for Kids Room 





• Cut leaf shapes out of the color 
sheet you painted (I made vague 
heart-like shapes because I love 
my boys and I love that aspen 
trees have heart-shaped leaves. 
My trees are somewhere between 
aspen and birch.) This part can be 
tedious as it's tough to peel off the 
backing on the leaves. I put up 
about 30 of them and then decided 
that we should wait to make this a 
ritual for guests who came to meet 
the kids— that each visitor adds a 
leaf to the forest. 




Tip: It helped to pre-peel the backing from the leaves a bit, tear the backing a little from the 
notch, and then reseal the adhesive backing to be hung at another time. I did this while 
watching Comedy Central. 



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Birch/Aspen Forest Wall Mural for Kids Room 




\4 







• Another tip: You can make your forest seem more populated by cutting a couple of the 
trunks into shorter segments to make truncated trunks above doors and around windows. 
In this view you can also see a corner of the giant world map I hung using this same 
contact-paper method, making a frame for the map and essentially taping it to the wall. 
You can see in the second picture that I forgot to add a trunk piece under the window, 
actually. 

This document was last generated on 201 2-1 1 -03 01 :24:07 PM. 



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